Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among adults 65 and older, at a rate of 2.3 million a year. As baby boomers reach this age the rate of both fatal and non-fatal falls is expected to grow substantially. Your Turn To Care has featured the dangers of falling in our four part documentary series with personal stories, like that of the Urquiza family, and in articles sharing tips on preventing falls through home safety, healthy activity and a greater awareness of the medical costs, over 28 billion in 2010.
HOW CAN CAREGIVERS HELP PREVENT FALLS
- Facilitate Regular Exercise - Activity should focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance. Tai Chi programs are especially good. (For more suggestions see below)
- Monitor Medications -Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines, both prescription and over-the counter, to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
- Vision Exams - Have eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update eyeglasses to maximize vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
- Home Safety - Reduce tripping hazards, add grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, add railings on both sides of stairways and improve the lighting inside and outside homes.
COMMUNITY EXERCISE PROGRAMS THAT IMPROVE BALANCE & LEG STRENGTH
Click HERE to find events, workshops and on-going programs throughout your community to learn more about the dangers and prevention of falls in the elderly community.